Supreme Court's decision will ultimately lead to complete legalization of same-sex marriage
Monday, October 6 saw same-sex marriage's greatest stride since 2013, when the Supreme Court announced it would not hear appeals to lower court rulings, which effectively legalizes same-sex marriage in five new states – Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah. It also opened the door to having gay marriage legalized in six more states which fall under the jurisdiction of appellate courts that have previously struck down bans.
This decision aids the fight for marriage equality in two crucial ways. First, it immediately legalizes same-sex marriage for millions of Americans and creates a country where the majority of the population lives in states where same-sex marriage is legal. And secondly, it eases the country into same-sex marriage, so that as more states begin to legalize it we won't have as much backlash.
The court's oldest justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has cited this exact phenomenon of backlash to explain the still bitter feelings about abortion in this country. She that we moved "too far, too fast" which fueled the opposition and created the cultural war on abortion that's led to several restrictions in conservative states such as Texas, which implemented new bans that leave five or six abortion clinics in a state that once had 40.
With the Supreme Court's recent decision to pass up on producing a similar ruling, we avoid such backlash. Those arguing that the nation would have been better off had the Supreme Court simply legalized same-sex marriage across the nation must realize that although not hearing the cases does lengthen the legalization process, it also makes the process more concrete once it's finished.
Along with avoiding the backlash from the socially conservative, this move by the Supreme Court only makes it more likely that we will someday see same-sex marriage legalized throughout all 50 states. In the United States v. Windsor decision that struck down DOMA in 2013, Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated, "When the State used its historic and essential authority to define the marital relation… its role and its power in making the decision enhanced the recognition, dignity, and protection of the class in their own community." This indicates the court's dedication to upholding the state's definitions of marriage, and a note defending states' choices as protecting people in their communities. After the court's decision to not hear the appeals and instantly legalize gay marriage in five new states, more and more gay couples will certainly marry before the Supreme Court does actually rule once and for all on the issue. All of these new marriages make it progressively more difficult for the court to invalidate marriages deemed legal by the states, who the court said has the essential authority to define marriage.
So while we wait patiently as the conservative states become subject to court rulings forcing them to recognize same-sex marriage, we can be fairly certain that in the near future we will all finally be treated equally under the law.
Jacob Popper. Let's go Caps, I hope you win the Stanley Cup this year (and every subsequent year). I enjoy opinions and argument as well as sports! More »